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Women’s Health and Wellness Hero Finalist: David Parish, NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital

3 min read

David Parish
Breast Imaging Radiologist
NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital

In leading Jonesboro’s NEA Baptist Hospital to the ranks of the elite in breast imaging technology, David Parish has involved some of the most sophisticated and technologically dense processes to be found anywhere in the state.

But what inspired the breast imaging radiologist to take the lead in pushing the hospital’s Breast Imaging Center to its lofty standing is decidedly less complicated.

“A woman has a 1 in 8 chance of getting breast cancer in her lifetime,” Parish said. “If I think about my family; my wife, two daughters, sister, mother, mother-in-law and two sisters-in-law, that’s eight women. And one of these women, my mother, did have breast cancer.

“So, there is a very good chance that breast cancer will affect a person’s life in some way. It is important to do everything we can to reduce a woman’s risk of dying from breast cancer, and that is our goal at NEA Baptist.”

When Parish joined NEA Baptist Clinic two years ago, he found a community of health care professionals who shared his goal of creating the most advanced breast imaging center in northeast Arkansas. NEA Baptist became the first to provide 3D mammography in Jonesboro and the surrounding region and also started a high-risk breast cancer screening program using 3T Breast MRI.

“Many women don’t know they are high risk and don’t know that more advanced screening methods are available to them,” Parish said.

While high-tech equipment and world-class expertise are important, Parish said some of the most impactful elements of the organization’s services came through simple changes and common sense policies.

“One of the ways we have increased access for women is we offer after-5 p.m. screening mammography to patients,” he said. “This is especially important for women who work and cannot take off to get their screening mammogram. Also, in the unfortunate even that a woman has an abnormal exam that requires a biopsy, we offer same-day biopsies.”

The center has also gone to great lengths to raise awareness for the importance of screenings as well as to the level of technology available right there in Jonesboro. A sampling includes Hoping for a Cure and Women’s Day events every year where the staff hands out vouchers for free screening mammograms to uninsured women; partnering with a local church to host an annual Women’s Health Forum and with Arkansas State University’s employee health fair.

“We continue to expand the scope of what a comprehensive breast imaging center can be,” Parish said.


» In the past two years, Parish has led the Breast Imaging Center at NEA Baptist Hospital to elite status in northeast Arkansas

» The center was the first in the area to offer 3D imaging for mammograms and offer 3T MRI imaging for high-risk women

» Center policies demonstrate a patient-first mentality such as offering screenings after 5 p.m. for working women and same-day biopsies.

» The center is highly engaged with the community to promote screenings

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